Their foresight and efforts were rewarded when on a fine and sunny Saturday morning in December 1968 at the athletics field at Pagewood, hundreds of young children swarmed all over the field. And so was started the first Little Athletics club in NSW. That club was called after the existing senior club “Randwick-Botany” and when the NSW State Association was formed in 1970 the club’s name was officially known as the Randwick Botany Little Athletics Centre. The Association was formed when other little clubs like Eastern Suburbs, Sutherland, Hornsby, Blacktown and Manly in the City, along with Deniliguin and Murrumbidge in the Country, combined to formulate a State Association.
Being the first club in NSW the Randwick Botany Little Athletics Centre was given the honour of wearing the centre number one on its competition shirt, signifying No.1 and as is today still the one.
The driving force behind the formation of the Randwick Botany Club was a, Mr C.D. Hensley, “Chic” as he was known and the athletics field was named in his honour the “C.D. Hensley Athletics Field”. A greater honour was bestowed when in 1972 “Chic” received Life Membership of the NSW Little Athletics Association. Since that time 3 other prominent Randwick Botany Committee members received that honour: Dick Corish, Jack Freeman and Jack McCarthy.
The second most important award in Little Athletics is known as the LAA Merit Award and Carmen Jones, Judy and Tony Vecellio have received that recognition.
Tony Vecellio (dressed as an eagle) and Judy Vecellio at the State March
The original committees of the State Association were filled with men of the Randwick Botany Centre and, although they helped build the Association, it seriously affected the workings of our own centre where a lot of experience and knowledge was misdirected. It took a few years before a strong committee was able to stand on its own feet and built the centre back up to be one of the strongest and best, on and off the field, and where it remains today.